Nine races on the Firestone Indy Lights schedule in 2009 will be held on the same day as IndyCar Series races, series officials have announced, giving aspiring senior series contenders the chance to perform to the same crowds as their more experienced peers.
The 15-race schedule - divided among eight ovals, four temporary street circuits and three permanent road courses in 2009 - includes three new venues and the series' first two races outside of the United States.
Same-day races will be held in St Petersburg - where the second of the weekend's double-headers will take place on Sunday - Long Beach, Kansas, Milwaukee, Edmonton, Kentucky, Mid-Ohio, Infineon and Chicagoland, while the season-opening St Petersburg race and those at Iowa, Watkins Glen, Toronto and the season finale at Homestead-Miami will be held on the day prior to the main attraction. The Firestone Freedom 100 is scheduled to be held as part of Miller Lite Carb Day activities on Friday 22 May, two days before the 93rd Indianapolis 500.
"It is important to Firestone Indy Lights that our drivers and teams can showcase their talents, not only to IndyCar Series teams competing on the same track, but to the fans that come to each event," explained series executive director Roger Bailey.
The complete Firestone Indy Lights schedule is as follows:
April 4 St Petersburg
April 5 St Petersburg
April 19 Long Beach
April 26 Kansas Speedway
May 22 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
May 31 Milwaukee Mile
June 20 Iowa Speedway
July 4 Watkins Glen International
July 11 Toronto
July 26 Edmonton City Centre Airport
August 1 Kentucky Speedway
August 9 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
August 23 Infineon Raceway
August 29 Chicagoland Speedway
October 9 Homestead-Miami Speedway